So this Montréal trip was such sporadic fun from the get go! Hubs won a trip to the The City of a Hundred Steeples for work, and naturally, I wanted to tag along for the fun!
One night at book club my friend Scott started talking about places he had on his bucket list to travel to this year and Montréal was one of them! Of course I told him to come with! I’m so happy he decided to join us—it was our first time traveling together and we seriously had the best time!
For anyone that knows me and my husband, I am very much the ‘details’ person and he’s the ‘big picture’ person. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the night before we left John realized he wasn’t going to be able to spend much time with Scott and I because his company was putting him up in a ski resort two hours outside of the city. *insert annoyed eye roll*
While John played in the mountains, Scott and I explored as much of the city as we could. I’m going to share some of our favorite spots to eat and things we did in Montreal (which was mostly, eating!) Seriously—it was such a foodie city! I have to say, I was completely blown away by Montréal—the city exceeded my expectations!
Scott and I stayed in an Airbnb on Rue St Denis in the Le Plateau neighborhood, which was SUCH a foodie street (for us Chicagoans—think of it as the Randolph Street of Montréal), we could not have been in a better location—we walked everywhere!
Eats Let me start off by saying we did not have a bad meal! So I have literally nothing bad to say about any of the places we went to, below is the list of the places we ate at and a quick overview of each. I highly recommend all of them!
- L’Express-We ate here for lunch on our fist day because it was next door to our Airbnb, we went there on a Thursday afternoon and it was deliciously empty. So cozy and so French, down to the black and white tiled floor. We loved the food and the Lemon Tart I had for dessert is seriously the best I’ve ever had in my life
- Else’s—Our first dinner in Montréal, it was a cozy bar with a warm spirit. Excellent food (especially their mac and cheese!). We were quite tired from traveling so it was a great place (within walking distance) to have a casual dinner and rest up for a full day of exploring!
- Restaurant L’Évidence-We ate here for brunch and the portions were excellent, they had fresh squeezed juice (which Scott got for his mimosa and he said it was perfection). What we loved most about L’Évidence were the sizable fruit portions that came with your meal—which was so fresh and included an interesting mix of tropical fruit you don’t often see as a side in the States.
- St. Viateur Bagel—This was our favorite bagel shop, and sesame was our favorite! I loved topping with cream cheese, it brought out such a sweetness to the bagel. Try it with butter and the bagel becomes quite savory. The bagel’s aren’t as dense as the bagels in the States. In my opinion Montréal Bagels>Any Other Bagel. Also, this place is Bourdain approved, so naturally, it’s legit.
- Chambre à Part- A. MUST. We were hooked on French cuisine in Montréal after eating here. If I could live here, I would. The minute you walk in you’re in an enchanting escape with mismatched china, black and white tiled floors, and lovely pops of soft turquoise on the walls and on their painted metal chairs. I was waiting for the pearly gates to open up because this is what my dreams are made of. Seriously. My home will one day look like this restaurant. I will go back to Montréal JUST to eat at this restaurant. The waiter was so polite and attentive--he even asked the chef if each of my courses were preggo safe. The food was exquisite and the best part is they serve fresh squeezed juices for their cocktails—they even have virgin options for us preggos! My night was made!
- Caribou Gourmand-we ate here for brunch and it was really cool! I felt like I was in a cabin in Northern Michigan. A solid brunch menu in the Mile End neighborhood, there’s a lot of great shopping nearby so the walk home was enjoyable despite the 20 degree temps.
- When John got into the city he was hungry for a quick bite, so Scott and I took him to a cat cafe (Ha!!), we went to Café Chat L’Heureux. There were a lot of families there and it was a really fun experience. We even saw one of the cats do a bunch of tricks for treats…all based off hand signals from one of the owners. Stu is starting lessons next week. Kidding! …Kinda.
- Bistrot La Fabrique-We went here for dinner with hubs. Seriously, no complaints. The waitress made me feel extra special by pouring me a glass of sparkling apple cider :) The place has a very 70s vibe and the kitchen is open, in the middle of the restaurant, so you can see the chefs making your meal—it was such a fun experience! My advice: keep plenty of room for the french toast dessert. Seriously. Mind. Blowing.
- Pagaille Café—we popped into here while were walking around for a quick bite and a rest. Holllyyyy. Their herbal tea was some of the best I’ve ever had--it had such flavor!! They also make their own jams in house; Scott opted for a tangerine grapefruit jam to pair with his croissant and I snagged any morsel he would so kindly share with me.
Tourist Attractions So we didn’t do a lot of ‘touristy’ things, we really wanted to eat and walk about but here are some of the things we did—all of which were free and very family friendly. We took UberX’s around and we took the Metro once, which was very efficient and easy to use.
- Parc du Mont-Royal-we took an Uber as far as we could up Mont Royal, so it was just a short walk for us to the Overlook. There is the Chalet Du Mont Royal at the Overlook which has a quaint gift shop, but also has a lot of restrooms (again, key for us preggos).
- When hubs came to the city we walked around Old Montréal. If you see the tourist photos of Montréal, you’re likely seeing photos of Old Montréal. The architecture is absolutely stunning, but it’s quite touristy. I’d recommend just spending an afternoon there for the gorgeous photo ops; I found that all the good food and the true local experience was in Le Plateau.
- The street art in the Le Plateau neighborhood was unreal, such beautiful works of art nearly every corner you turned. It reminded me of the colorful street art around Reykjavík, Iceland. Overall, I'd go back in a heartbeat--and highly encourage anyone considering to visit Montréal to go!! For now, a bientôt Montréal!